Philippians 2:3 AMP says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives or strife] but in an attitude of humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous] regard others as more important than yourself.”
This verse seems applicable to our level of presence with others. When you are fully present you are totally engaged and focused on what the other person is saying and doing. But all too often we are too overwhelmed with our own stuff. We miss what others have to share. When we do this we are acting in a way that says we are more important than the other.
You know how it goes, you are physically there, but there are one or more things that keep you from fully focusing on the conversation. You may be preoccupied with self, just focused on something that you can’t seem to get out of your mind. Maybe it’s the busyness of your schedule, or the exhaustion you feel, or maybe it’s the party you are planning. Even so, you nod politely as if you’re listening, when you really are only partially attending to what is being said. You go through the motions. I know I am guilty of this.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians to be humble, to think of the other person as more important than ourselves. This means we need to set aside the things that are bombarding our minds, and give our full attention to the other person and their needs.
Being fully present is a way of really showing love. It is like saying, “I am really with you in this. I want to hear what you have to say. I want to be with you, there is nowhere else I would rather be.”
I think that Jesus was fully present in His relationships. When He was with someone, He was really with them, focused on them and their needs.
I want to learn to change, but it will take a conscious effort. My inattentiveness, my selfishness, and my busyness get in the way. I want to learn to make a point of being fully present, not preoccupied or distracted. I want to develop self-control in this area, setting aside self. I want others to know that I really care about them.
Showing love to other people is one of the most Christlike things we can do. Who do you need to demonstrate the love of being fully present with today?